Miami’s Ultra Music Festival has been sued for allegedly denying ticketholders refunds for the 2020 cancelled event.
Gabriella Petroka, who filed the lawsuit on March 31 after paying a total of $1,032 for two tickets to the 2020 event, is seeking to represent a class of Florida residents who bought tickets to the cancelled festival.
She is claiming breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive and unfair trade practices and unjust enrichment, among other claims.
The proposed eight-count class-action suit against Event Entertainment Group, the umbrella company behind the festival, was filed in the 11th Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County late last month.
The Florida event, which was cancelled last year due to COVID-19, offered fans transfers for 2021 or 2022 and free “upgrades” instead of refunds. However, Ultra has recently confirmed to the City of Miami that the two-day festival will not take place this year.
Gabriella Petroka, who filed the lawsuit on March 31, claims the organisers withheld refunds on the premise that Ultra was merely postponed, rather than cancelled due to the pandemic.
Petroka said in the suit, according to Law360: “Hiding behind an illusory set of terms and conditions which purportedly grant Ultra unilateral authority to cancel the event for any reason, with or without cause, as well as false or misleading assertions that the event was merely postponed, Ultra refused to refund plaintiff and other ticketholders the hundreds or thousands of dollars they each paid to attend the event.”
According to the lawsuit, those who opt to “upgrade” their 2020 ticket packages for the 2022 event are required to check a box agreeing to certain terms and conditions.
The suit details that among these terms and conditions are a waiver of any recovery of attorney fees or costs if a ticketholder were to prevail in litigation against Ultra, an agreement to not attempt any credit card chargeback for any reason, a waiver of the legal defence that the 2021 terms are unconscionable or unenforceable, and an arbitration provision that requires ticketholders to bear half of the costs of any arbitration.
Marcus Corwin, Petroka’s attorney, said in a statement: “This is an abuse of fairness, and of accepted and proper trade practice. No one argues that the festival should have gone forward, but when it didn’t, the promoters should have refunded the money.”
Organisers of the festival have already announced the dates of the 2022 event, which is scheduled to take place March 25 to 27 at Bayfront Park.